Coinciding with the celebration of National FFA Week February 20-27, Monsanto Company is observing a milestone of its own – over a half-century of providing financial and program support for the National FFA Organization.
Monsanto recently earmarked a $1 million contribution to the National FFA for 2010. That brings the company's cumulative financial support to more than $10 million since its association with FFA began 57 years ago.
"As a company focused 100 percent on agriculture, we are very proud of our long association with the FFA and are committed to a continued investment in agricultural youth who represent the future of farming,” said John Raines, Vice President of Customer Advocacy for Monsanto. "In addition to our corporate sponsorship, Monsanto provides funding for local FFA chapters across the country, and many of our employees donate their time at the local, state and national levels.”
Premier Youth Leaders
Lead Out Loud is the theme of National FFA Week this year as members pledge to show off what makes them premier leaders in their schools and communities. More than half a million members around the nation will participate in National FFA Week activities at the local and state levels.
"National FFA Week is when we recognize the achievements of FFA members preparing for careers in agriculture and making a difference in their communities, but it's become more than that,” said National FFA Advisor Dr. Larry D. Case. "It's also a time to share our story with people who have little contact with agriculture or with FFA members. A big part of that story is how our friends in the agriculture industry generously donate their time and provide financial resources that make possible life-changing opportunities for FFA members. No company exemplifies that spirit more than Monsanto. For 57 years, their leadership and employees have helped shape generations of agricultural leaders. Our nation is stronger for it.”
The focus of National FFA Week is to tell America about the great opportunities available for all youth. From its beginnings in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization today reaches out to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA is committed to developing character and leadership skills and preparing members for a lifetime of civic leadership and career success.
A wide variety of FFA programs are supported through Monsanto's more than $1 million annual sponsorship. These include the Washington Leadership Conference, Agriscience Student Recognition Program, Agricultural Sales and Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Events, National Leadership Conference for State Officers, Commitment to Agriculture Collegiate Scholarships, Vegetable Production Proficiency Award and the Million Hour Challenge.
Dr. Case noted that these programs were designed to help young agriculture students become the leaders of tomorrow. "FFA members are success-oriented students who are driven to achieve their goals. FFA gives many young people an important push to consider what kind of people, citizens and professionals they intend to be. FFA builds leaders, and leaders impact the future,” he said.
To learn more about FFA, or how to help a chapter achieve its goals, contact your local high school's FFA advisor. A list of chapters can be found in the Chapter Locator
on ffa.org, where FFA Week highlights and updates are also available.
About the National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 506,199 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,429 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st Congress of the United States, and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. Visit www.ffa.org for more information. FFA Week materials, resources and logos can be found at ffaweek.ffa.org.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small -holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. The company's FFA corporate sponsorship is part of a broad commitment to ag youth, which includes partnering with several prominent, nationwide organizations that are making a marked difference in the lives of young people and developing the future leadership of agriculture. Monsanto ranks as the largest ag sponsor of National FFA and 4-H.